Silver Falls State Park is a very short scenic drive from the Willamette Valley that is a must see place. It was totally an unplanned trip for us on our way from Crater Lake. We stayed in Salem Oregon and while browsing Willamette valley brochure in the hotel, we came across Silver Falls article and the pictures immediately drew our attention to visit this park. Driving the Willamette valley is fabulous and the state scenic highway is a beautiful treat on your way to the park. Silver Falls State Park is supposed to be Oregon’s largest State Park and is centrally located in Oregon just east of the State Capital, Salem.
This park is known for it’s beautiful waterfalls that injects into the canyon which is carved by both North and South parts of the Silver creek. Trail of Ten Falls is a famous hike in Silver Falls State park that is approximately 10 miles to cover all of the ten falls. If you have limited time, you can still hike down both North and South Falls. It’s less than 30 minute hike but very different from the falls that I’ve seen so far in the Northwest region. They are absolutely gorgeous and you’ll see the falls glazing down from the middle of the semi arc shaped cave. The hike trails are well maintained that has slight elevation to both North and South Falls. You will be walking past the cave and great to see the formation of these caves along with sounds of the waterfalls is an excellent treat to the visitors.
The hike to North Falls had lots of ups and down trail path that included steps and slightly graded elevation.It is the only waterfall you can see in the park without getting out of your car, but you get the experience when you hike down the falls. The huge recess behind North Falls is very unique and one of my favorites inside this park. The undercut cliff extends back from the falls and the ceiling runs as much as 75 feet above the trail as it passes behind the falls. The huge size of the under cut chamber allows the sound of the falls to be amplified considerably, making the falls sound quite a bit more powerful than they actually may be. The undercut cliff shape provides an option for visitors to sit back, relax and enjoy the roar of the falls surrounded by other nature sounds.
The park has all the amenities including a Lodge that’s right inside South Falls area, mini café that serve sandwich, burgers, snacks and drinks. Additionally they had other refreshment trucks that were selling ice-creams and cold beverages. The park is also very famous for camping and has good campground options and large playgrounds.
I would definitely recommend a 2 day trip that can be combined with camping and hiking. Since we really did not plan to visit this park, we had limited time just for hiking activity.